The mayor of St. Joseph is at the center of a criminal investigation by Louisiana State Police. Earlier this year a legislative auditor accused Mayor Ed Brown of mismanaging St. Joe’s finances, and the auditor outlined several possible crimes he may have committed. But Trooper Michael Reichardt says Brown has not been arrested yet.
“We’re just going to have to go where the evidence takes us, but we do have an investigation going on right now. It’s very preliminary,” Reichardt said.
The water in the small Tensas parish town has been murky brown for nearly a decade, and state funds were appropriated to repair the water system. But because of Brown’s failure to submit the required audits, the town cannot access the money. Reichardt says it could be a lengthy investigation.
“It’s going to take a while to go through all this, especially with the legislative auditor being involved and the District Attorney’s Office,” Reichardt said.
A judge has stripped Brown of the authority to make financial decisions and appointed a fiscal manager for St. Joe. Reichardt says he can’t say much about the case yet, as the investigation in ongoing.
“We just started this investigation so we’re just going through evidence, and of course that takes a while, and we’ll go wherever the evidence takes us,” Reichardt said.